Almost Half of U.S. Public School Students are Minorities, Teachers Not Even Close

Almost Half of U.S. Public School Students are Minorities, Teachers Not Even Close

The Center for American Progress and the National Education Association are calling attention to a nationwide school "diversity gap."

Fox News Latino reports that new studies have found that 48 percent of students attending public schools in the U.S. are minorities, while fewer than 20 percent of teachers are non-white.

Out of the 3.3 million teachers there were in public elementary and secondary schools in 2012, 82 percent were white, 8 percent were Hispanic, 7 percent were black and about 2 percent were Asian, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

"We have very few teachers of minority background yet we've gone to about 40 percent minority population," Jan Alderson, a science teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School in Kansas, told Fox News Latino.

"It's a beautiful blending, it's just teachers who don't have that cultural background, I think just that there are more issues."

Kevin Gilbert, a member of the National Education Association's executive committee, told the Associated Press why closing the diversity gap is important. "Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them," Gilbert said.

And Ulrich Boser, the author of the Center for American Progress study America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color: Getting More Teachers of Color into the Classroom, notes that having more teachers of minority backgrounds: ". . . It's important for our social fabric, for our sense as a nation, that students are engaging with people who think, talk and act differently than them but can also be just as effective at raising student achievement in the classroom."

What do you think about the "diversity gap" in our schools? Sound off in the comments!